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Though we know some of you are pounding the digital pavement from your home offices, a lot of you in the small business world work from a traditional office or co-working space. Though you may delegate a few tasks to virtual assistants, your physical location is the destination for your full-time and/or part-time staff.
The buzzword "company culture" may elicit some eye rolls; however, making sure your company evokes both happiness and productivity is not an entrepreneurial or corporate pipe dream. Below we list some of the ways for creating the ideal workplace environment
1. Minimize meetings - This advice seems much easier said than done as we often feel our meetings can produce monumental innovation and crucial client acquisition. If we are being honest, these "wins" happen less than we think. Out of a out-hour meeting, sometimes only 25% (or less) of the time yields anything productive or pertinent to your company's growth. If you need currently all of your weekly meetings to occur and cannot streamline communication through email or other digital applications, you can at least cut down on the time spent at the conference table. For the next few months, limiting your typical 60-minute weekly meeting to half an hour. You most likely won't even miss that other 30 minutes and will still accomplish what you need to get done.
2. Establish clear guidelines for communication - At this time, several generations exist inside a company whether the employees are Baby Boomers, Gen Xers or Millennials. And of course, each generation prefers a specific communication tool. However, instead of trying to analyze everyone's habits, you can try establishing an order of communication lines. For example, if a task or question needs attention but can wait a day or more, email the team or employee. If you need something completed within a few hours, try a companywide, instant message platform such as Slack or Google Hangouts. And if you have a completely unavoidable situation that must be resolved immediately, go for the telephone or face-to-face communication/surprise visit approach. You can implement these rules however you see fit, but be willing to give this strategy a shot and document which guidelines for communication work best.
3. Allow for moments of levity throughout the work day - You may read that suggestion and automatically think of Google-esque work environments with scooters, rock walls, dance parties and anything and everything seems completely unrelated to the task at hand. No one is asking for employers to go to that extreme, but implementing a few ways for team members to enjoy their work day is not a detriment to productivity. Some employers may let the workers dress casually, some may allow music to be played at low volumes or in headphones or some may offer free healthy snacks and coffee. You have to analyze the best tactics for YOUR company. Feel free to experiment subtly and see what happens.
If you would like some more information on creating a happy and productive office, feel free to email us at email@example.com!
As job satisfaction and career/life balance becomes increasingly important to the modern workforce, today's business owners must be aware of their team members' needs and objectives. The onboarding process represents a significant step for new hires that helps determine their view of their tenure with the company.
Here are five reasons why the onboarding process is so crucial:
1) Expedited Paperwork Processing - It's a part of every job. Forms for taxes, insurance, company policies and other miscellaneous documents are stacked in front of every new hire, taking up valuable time away from that first few hours on the job. With all of the technological advances, software and apps, you can find a way to take care of these forms well before the new team member walks through the door.
2) Early Rapport Building with Team - No matter how jobs we have throughout our career, meeting people can be difficult. If possible, surround your new hire with team members in their department as early as you can. Allow an open environment for any kind of questions and give plenty of shadowing opportunities to make sure that the new hires learn how to do things the proper way. You can also create a FAQ document with questions and answers submitted by current team members. Making these new hires comfortable with their team in the onboarding process will help them succeed when they start the actual work.
3) An Initial Sense of Ownership - Speaking of the actual work, your company's onboarding process allows you to communicate tangible goals, objectives and responsibilities to the new hire. Explaining the mission of your business and how their role impacts the overall picture can help new hires experience a sense of ownership before they even begin their tasks.
4) Reinforcement of Business Mission for Other Team Members - By encouraging this sense of rapport between new hires and current team members in the onboarding process, you can help reemphasize your values and mission throughout the company. This new energy can even lead to innovation in current and future projects.
5) Higher Retention Rate - Most businesses have a probationary period of three to six months to determine if the company and new hire are the right fit. Using a structured onboarding process to engage the new hire from the very beginning can help ensure a higher chance of retention those first few months and beyond.
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Whether your team numbers two or twenty, developing practical processes for your business ensures the ability to maintain productivity in the different components of your company. Here are a few areas that need these practical processes:
1) Operations - Your day-to-day management makes up the foundation for both the spontaneous and routine aspects of your business. You can establish stability in your operations through a policies and procedures manual for all team members, the selection of your suppliers and vendors, and important checklists for your administrative and executive assistants.
2) Marketing and Sales - These areas of your business bring new life to your company as well as maintain the brand and voice of your objectives. Be sure to assign goals to your sales team, so they can hit measurable results of acquiring new customers and clients. Provide a branding guide for your marketing team that keeps the delivery of your products professional and consistent.
3) Finances - As worrisome as money can make people, you cannot ignore its significance in the maintenance and growth of your business. Find consistent, practical processes to document and manage your revenue and cash flow. You do not want to mix up or lose important financial records, especially when tax season comes along.
4) Talent - Unless you're a solopreneur, you rely on your team to accomplish the totality of your company goals. If you want your team members and leaders to reach their full potential for your business, invest heavily in initial training and professional development.
After creating these practical processes, remember to evaluate them from time to time. You want your company to grow, so be willing to innovate when necessary.
As a small business owner, you and your team juggle many tasks. Some of these tasks are unique and change frequently. However, you also complete several projects in the same way every single time.
Documenting processes creates a streamlined approach for effective management. Here are some reasons why your company should practice documentation.
1) Unexpected or planned absences – If your team is small, oftentimes an absent member can hinder productivity, especially if their position comprises of specific or specialized tasks. Documenting processes allows your business to create specific instructions and objective for each position. Whether a team member is out with the flu or is enjoying an island vacation for two weeks, you or one of your team members will keep the business on track by referencing your documented processes.
2) A Unified Company Approach – We all have our preferences and habits when it comes to working and marking things off our to-do lists. However, no matter how big or small your business is, some tasks and processes need to be uniform for everybody. Documenting processes such as clocking in/out, submitting expense reports and creating presentations reduces confusions and helps speed up productivity for the various departments.
3) New Hire Training – One aspect prospective and new team members look for in a company is the depth of their new hire training. Documenting processes in one central database allows managers to quickly create training materials for every department and position. Once training is complete, team members still have the option to access the materials should any questions arise.
4) Process Review and Innovation
– As important as documentation is, your company should also take time at least a few points during the year to review your processes. Ask
objective questions from your management and team members to see how things can be improved for each process. Be open to these suggestions will also
give your team members a sense of ownership in their position
Without a doubt, digital business practices are here to stay. Though your company may be located in a brick and mortar location, you can invest in the help of virtual assistants to take care of day-to-day tasks that may be too much for your staff. Here are three reasons why outsourcing your bookkeeping can help your business.
You’ll Get Sound Advice – If you are a solopreneur or a business owner with a small staff, you may often find yourself taking on tasks with which you have little or no experience. With bookkeeping impacting both the day-to-day and long-term operations of your company, outsourcing the tasks to an expert can help you rest easy during the times such peace is needed, like tax season. Your outsourced bookkeeping service will ensure all correct forms are filed and all necessary objectives are completed. These experts will also be up-to-date on the latest bookkeeping/accounting tools and technology that can help your business run more efficiently.
You’ll Save Time and Money – Obviously, operating a small business takes up a precious commodity, your time. Accomplishing tasks in your professional environment can bleed into your personal/home life and can leave you scrambling to make it all come together. Outsourcing bookkeeping to an expert gives you room to breathe when it comes to managing your responsibilities. You can also save money on employee costs by not another full-time staff member on the payroll.
You’ll Be Able to Focus on Your Company’s Mission – When you started your business, you had an idea of your its goals and how you wanted to accomplish them. As those first few months and/or years went by, some of these objectives fell by the wayside. Outsourcing your bookkeeping can give you the time and energy to reinvigorate your creativity and innovate new solutions and processes for your business.
If you need any assistance with your bookkeeping, don’t hesitate to reach out to Campbell Business Services with any questions! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
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It's Wednesday at 4:30, and you collapse into your desk chair. Today was full of more meetings than you can count: the weekly team meeting, the monthly brainstorming session with your biggest client, and a surprise conference from a friendly entrepreneur who knows how to stay just a little too much over his time.
The temptation once you fire up your computer for the last time of the day is just to coast through the last half hour without incident or receiving any unexpected tasks. Social media is calling your name, and dinner plans need to be made. However, using those remaining 30 minutes of your work day in a productive manner can make a significant difference for tomorrow or even the rest of your week.
Here are three things you can do to increase your end-of-day productivity:
1. Choose one to three small tasks that you can knock out easily: When we eliminate the busy work in our schedule, we're able to accomplish more of the important tasks. If you know an email to send a coworker or some copies you need to make for your upcoming presentation, don't put it towards tomorrow's to-do list; get it out of the way now.
2. Make your schedule and/or to-do list for the next day or week: Though it's tempting to put off thinking about tomorrow or next week's work, taking care of writing out your to-do list in the morning saves at least ten to twenty minutes when you first get to your desk at 8 a.m. Mark the highest priority tasks to alert yourself that these need to be done first while your mind is more alert.
3. Catch up on industry news: Don't let your last 30 minutes consist of watching cat videos on YouTube, finding recipes on Pinterest or making "crucial" trades for your fantasy teams. Subscribe to three to five industry newsletters or blogs and spend some time studying the latest trends and brainstorming ways you can incorporate these tips into your current position.